Integrating an MIS as part of your production setup not only allows you to take greater control of your printing but also helps you save significantly on time and costs, positioning your business for further growth. While there may be a plethora of print hardware available on the market, investment in a management information system (MIS) can be essential to ensure it is operating to its full potential and producing the highest quality work.
The clue to an effective MIS is in the name; it allows you to take greater control of your print production, helps eliminate errors and ensures that your printing hardware is performing as it should.
At Ricoh, we are able to offer a whole host of MIS solutions that – when combined with our printing hardware, or indeed that of other manufacturers – allow users to not only achieve high-quality output but also enable them to establish a more efficient production setup. A good MIS solution can also help to position their business for further growth and expansion.
This can be particularly useful when it comes to wide-format work, which comes in all sorts of creative shapes and sizes but can often cause headaches for print service providers when it comes to managing such a large array of jobs.
MIS solutions such as Avanti Slingshot might just be the perfect answer. Suitable for most print production processes, it has dedicated functionality for wide-format production.
It takes into account speciality functions that are commonplace in many wide-format print jobs, such as edge fitting applications, kitting and assembly tasks. The software breaks down all the different aspects of a job, allowing users to piece together each project to ensure the final product meets all quality criteria.
The MIS makes all of this information available to anyone in the print house that is involved with the project, helping ensure you are consistently hitting quality targets at each step of the process.
In a nutshell, this helps to eliminate errors at earlier stages that can cause further issues down the line, which in turn often lead to delays in production and unnecessary waste. By integrating MIS solutions into your production setup, you can make significant savings on time and production costs.
MIS solutions can also offer a wide array of tools when it comes to pricing up a project, which means you can provide accurate quotes to the customer and ensure you are pricing up jobs correctly to secure the best possible margin. From labour and substrate costs to materials and commission expenses, all bases are covered.
For an example of the impact the likes of Avanti Slingshot can have on a print business, look no further than Impulse Graphic and Display Solutions in Ontario, Canada. Also known as Impulse GDS, the large- and grand-format signage and display solutions company opted to overhaul its management strategy. In order to transition from running with a do-whatever-it-takes culture with poorly-defined procedures to a managed and consistent work process, Impulse GDS chose to invest in a new MIS, selecting Avanti Slingshot to support its journey.
Impulse GDS’s implementation of Avanti Slingshot has benefited staff right across the company. The core advantage to the business is the work templates featured on the MIS, which allow them to easily put together new jobs with all the relevant information on attributes, materials, and production steps.
As all these details are linked to production job tickets and inventory, this means estimators can easily use accurate and consistent costs for inventory, prepress, production, finishing, packing, and shipping.
Avanti Slingshot has also improved quotation speed to market, with the ability for staff to see and review quotes in real-time. In one case, after a trade job customer said Impact’s quote was double that of the competition, Impulse used its MIS to examine alternatives and dropped the estimate from $1,400 to $800 by printing 2-up on different media.
However, not all these benefits are related to costing and job setup, with Impulse GDS having also reported a huge drop in reprints and production errors through the use of Avanti Slingshot ticketing.
The benefits of having an MIS in place are clear to see. Integrating an MIS as part of your production setup not only allows you to take greater control of your printing, but also helps you save significantly on time and costs, setting up your business for further growth.
Authored by Jeremy Hall
Senior Solutions Architect at Ricoh UK.